How To Name Your Guide Dog Puppy

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Have you ever wondered how Guide Dogs of America names their puppies? I’ve probably talked about it before here on my website, but I just wanted to go through the process again. I always thought the guide dog organization named all of their puppies, but that is not the case.  I got the chance to name my first puppy and came up with the name “Stetson”.

Where did I come up with the name Stetson? One of my cousin’s friends was actually the guy who rode the horse in the stetson cologne commercials. We used to call him the “Stetson Man”. I remembered and decided that would be a good name for my first puppy in training. I think the new “Stetson Man” is Matthew McConaughy.

This is a picture of “Ace” chewing on a toy in my office at work. If you noticed his vest he’s a GDA puppy in training (I puppy sat him for 10 days this month). As you might have guessed “Ace” is from the “A” litter.

How To Name Your Guide Dog Puppy

There are a few rules you have to follow when naming your puppy for Guide Dogs of America.

Ace Chewing on Toy In My Office

  1. Guide Dogs of America assigns a letter to each litter. For instance, Stetson was from the “S” litter and his siblings were Salem, Stuart, Skylar, and Sukie.
  2. The name can’t be the same as a current Puppy In Training, current Guide Dog, or current Breeder.
  3. It also can’t be a funny type name. For instance, the manual says please no guide dogs by the name of “Popcorn”. Guide Dogs of America are usually pretty lenient. Before getting Stetson I submitted a list to Louise our puppy program manager, and she let me know what names were available/appropriate.

If you are having problems coming up with a name I’ve added a list of puppy names here on the Puppy In Training website. You can also get great ideas for puppy names by consulting your friends and family.

If you have any names you’d like to add to the list on this website please send me an email or leave me a comment in the comments area below.

Why Are We talking About Puppy Names?

So why are we talking about puppy names? As many of you know my original plan was to wait and see how Stetson did with his formal training before making a decision on when I’d raise another puppy.

Well…there’s been a change of plans. Yesterday our group leader gave me a call letting me know that a male yellow Labrador Retriever needed a puppy raiser. He’s from the “D” litter and I already knew that our friends Joe and Janet (they raised Buster and Trooper) were raising “Dexter” from this litter. I also found out just hours earlier that our other good friends Anne and Jim (they raised Hogan and Dustin) were going to raise “Dutch” from the same litter.

As I said earlier, I wanted to wait and see what happened to Stetson before raising another puppy. I was a little hesitant at first and needed to make sure I had a puppy sitter for a couple vacations I’ve already planned this summer. However, the opportunity to raise a “D” puppy with Joe & Janet and Anne & Jim was something I just couldn’t pass up.

Puppy Names

This is where I need your help. I have a few names I’m already considering for my little “D” puppy, but I wanted to consult with you, my blog readers. Here are a few names I like:

  • Denali
  • Derby
  • Dash
  • Dublin
  • Dodger

Nothing is set in stone yet. I really would like your opinion on puppy names that start with the letter “D”. Please add your favorite “D” name to the comment section below.

My plan is to submit my list of “D” names to Louise on Friday so please let me know as soon as possible your favorite “D” puppy name.

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  1. I think that one of puppies in new group starting with C should be “Chumpy” after recently deceased Australian Gold Medallist for Snowboarding in Winter Olympics.

  2. I think Dallas would make a good name for a boy dog and Devine or Daren would be cute for a girl dog.

  3. i love your advice, question i am going to pick up a recue dog , golden lab puppy about 1 year old. problem is he was named popeye, so i want to change his name to something like DJ OR ACE OR SARG, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. how do i do that. just start calling him one of those names and soon he will catch on. thanks for your help

    1. @taynjosh great name! I’ll have to add it to my list of “D” puppy names. It reminds me of the movie Friday with Chris Tucker and Ice Cube.

  4. My dog’s name is “Brownie!” –She’s actually a tan dog, but I never changed her name because I figured that is what her previous owners called her and I didn’t want to confuse her.

  5. @Bonnie, my eighth grade teacher’s name was Dorcas. I don’t think I could name my dog after her, but I love all the names.

  6. I love those names like dodger, and derby my ideas are,
    boy dog Drake, Dalton, Dallon, Dakota, Delloy,

    Girl dog
    Dallas, Daisy, Dorcas, Dora,

  7. @Dede, I’m sure you won’t stunt her learning by waiting to give her a name. Many dogs and puppies are rescued from the shelter and given new names.

    However, it is important for your dog to know her name so once you decide on her name make sure you train her to respond to it.

  8. i am still having alot of trouble picking out my dogs name and she is just a pup so i really dont know her personality yet….what do i do?

  9. @Nicole, I really liked Dublin too. That name was definitely in the running. Derby is in for a Guide Dog evaluation, but he’ll be back home on May 1st just in time for the Kentucky Derby!

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